No matter if it’s a weekend away, or a month-long trip, finding the right pet sitter is a large part of the preparation.
Allowing a stranger into your private sanctuary. And entrusting them with your beloved pets!
It can be a very daunting exercise.
It takes a huge amount of trust on a homeowner’s part.
After all, you want to be able to enjoy your holiday, safe in the knowledge that your fur babies are in good hands.
There are some things you can do to prepare yourself, though.
Arrange a pre-interview, preferably in person and with your pets.
It’s a great way to help you choose the perfect person for your needs and set up for a successful experience.
We’ve compiled a list of questions you can ask a potential sitter to get you started.
It’s by no means a comprehensive list.
Tailor the questions to your situation and select the very best person for the job.
Back to basics for this one. Before scheduling any interview, ask for some references from previous sits they’ve completed.
If you are choosing sitters from a pet sit website, check their profile for feedback.
If possible, contact a couple of the previous contacts. Ask about their experience with your potential sitter.
Ask them how their own experience was. Were there any problems?
Was the sitter reliable and delivered the level of care expected?
Ask For The Sitter To Provide a Criminal Record Check
As confronting as this may sound, it’s common practice.
Criminal checks are easy and quick to get and reasonably priced – if not free.
Most employers request current criminal record checks these days. The request is not an unusual one.
But this simple piece of paper can give you a huge piece of mind. Especially if you are looking at international sitters.
What Do They Enjoy About Pet Sitting?
This question is designed for you to get a sense of your sitter and their priorities.
Ensure the reasoning fits in with your own beliefs about what you believe the house/pet sit should be about.
If their first reaction is ‘free accommodation!’, it could show that your pet may not be their priority.
While saving on travel costs is a factor, it shouldn’t be the sole purpose of pet and house sitting.
What is Their Experience With Pets?
Previous experience with animals is an important one.
Having your pet is one thing, and this may be enough experience for you.
But having first-hand experience with many types of animals can show the sitter as more capable in different situations.
- what types of animals have they had experience with?
- how long have they had animal experience?
- have they dealt with any behavioral or health issues?
- how have they handled challenges that have arisen?
Can They Spend Time With You and Your Pets?
It’s great to have a face-to-face interaction before the sitting assignment.
That gives you a chance to gain a sense of the person while seeing how your pet interacts with them. Pets are often a great judge of character!
And you have the added peace of mind knowing that your pet is happy and settled in the sitter’s company.
If your sitter is some distance away, that’s not always possible.
Try a video chat or phone conversation. Trust your instincts.
Do They Have Any Relevant Qualifications?
Ask if your sitter has any relevant skills they can bring to the situation.
Do they know how to keep your property clean and tidy?
Are they able to maintain plants and gardens, if needed?
Do they have any first aid or emergency skills?
Are they confident walking animals on a leash?
How Often Will They Be at Your House?
This is another important one. Is your sitter prepared to be home for your pet’s needs?
Some pets need more attention than others. If you have an animal that requires interaction, a sitter who is out all day and night is not going to be a great fit.
Ask the question, and ensure the sitter is aware of the pet care requirements and willing to meet them.
How Often Can They Communicate With You?
If regular updates are important to you, let your potential sitter know.
Make sure they are comfortable and willing to give you this.
Seeing photos, or a quick text message with updates of happy pets can set your mind at ease when you are away.
Make sure you find a sitter who is happy to meet your expectations.
How Do They Handle Pet or Home Emergencies?
How would your potential sitter handle emergencies?
Ideally, you’d like to find a sitter that can deal with minor problems calming and confidently. Not overreact and contact you with every small issue. The idea is to make your holiday stress-free!
Most homeowners will leave a list of emergency contacts and family or neighbor contact details for any small issues.
Let them know what you consider a contactable issue, and set out some guidelines.
Can They Care For Pets With Special Needs?
If your pet has extra needs, requires medication, or has dietary issues, specify these to the sitter.
Make sure the sitter is comfortable with any of these special needs.
Do they feel comfortable giving medications? Taking the pet to any vet appointments?
Most sitters will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. No doubt they’ve been asked lots of different things over time!
Ask what you need to ask. It’s important that you feel comfortable and build trust. This person is going to be in charge of your most precious assets!
Picked a House Sitter? Here is How to Prep Your Home
Did you pick a wonderful house sitter?
You want to set them up for success! So here is how to prep your house for a pet sitter it will ensure your home is ready.
Brittnay is one of the Travelling House Sitters. She has cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 40+ houses in 15 countries over 5 years.
She is ready to teach you exactly how to become a house sitter! She wants everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about Brittnay and Jay on their about page.
Or connect with Brittnay on Facebook or in their house sitting community on Facebook